Cause Celeb

Can star power create social change?

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Celeb: Lauryn Hill, hip-hop, reggae, and R&B artist

Cause: The Refugee Project (TRP), an outreach program for at-risk urban youths from New York and New Jersey

What she’s done: Hill founded TRP in 1996 and serves as chair of the board of directors. She also made an appearance at the August 1998 Camp Hill, a two-week recreational camp in the Catskill Mountains for kids between 10 and 13 years old.

What celeb gets: Spiritual fulfillment and publicity

What cause gets: Camp Hill, a mentorship program, a reading club, and an annual Halloween party, not to mention support from such superstar trustees as Sean “Puffy” Combs, Cornel West, and Spike Lee

Connection between celeb and cause: Hill grew up in a working-class section of South Orange, N.J., and knows from personal experience that dead-end inertia can be overcome.

Chance celeb will humiliate cause: Slim. Hill is known to be dedicated and socially aware. Plus, the kids love her.

What good came of this? More than 100 urban kids got the chance to escape to the Catskills. Says one of the camp’s sponsors: “[It gave] kids a great opportunity to get out into the country, and to learn skills through a structured curriculum of seminars in music, accounting, and marketing.”

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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